Video Killed The…..?

The world is about to undergo another huge, technology-led revolution.

Last week the conversation amongst the twitterati was all about Meerkat, the twitter-centric live video streaming service.

This week it’s all about Periscope, the rival but yet-to-be-launched service that Twitter itself has recently acquired.

It doesn’t really matter which of these services becomes the BetaMax, and which the VHS. It may be neither, of course – it’s entirely possible that a fresh social media/live video provider, with a kickass offer that users just can’t resist, emerges and takes the crown.

The point is that real-time, live video, peer-to-peer(s) broadcast is here to stay.

And (cliché alert) that really is going to change everything. Because Flo Public can now stream her reality, live, to thousands, maybe even millions of others.

Yes, some of that content will be boring. Crap, even.

But not withstanding folks’ appetite for live feed crap (the bizarre success of Big Brother, anyone?), there will be some gems in there too. 

We can expect to see users live feeding anything and everything: from riots and revolutionary exhortations, to product reviews and service critiques.

Consumers will be able to demonstrate, beyond question, the live reality of a brand, as opposed to the brand’s own carefully, and expensively, developed version of itself. The same goes for governments……

Video, or at least MTV, didn’t, in the end, kill the radio star.

But real-time, live video, peer-to-peer(s) broadcast video will kill plenty.

We just don’t know quite what yet.

What we do know is that nations, dictators, advertisers, broadcasters, newspapers and almost anyone else with a vested interest in media can expect to find themselves further disintermediated; and having to work even harder to prove their relevance in the 21st Century.

Perhaps, in the end, Gil Scott-Heron was wrong.

Because it looks increasingly like the revolution will, in fact, be televised.

Monticello LLP

– this piece first kindly published by Campaign Magazine